When it comes to gaining exposure for my little art blog, there aren’t a lot of footsteps to follow.  There are some very excellent sketch blogs and fantastic artblogs, how to tutorial blogs that offer lots of insight and helpful information, and review blogs that alert readers to products both indispensible and potentially troublesome, but there aren’t many dedicated artblogs that combine all of these aspects.  I have to turn my attention instead to the fashion blogging community, and take note of their methods for gaining exposure and monetizing, for attracting sponsors and dealing with customers, because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: artblogs, even great ones, aren’t the most popular blogs on the internet.

Writing a good art blog is a bit like grinding in an oldschool RPG video game.  I am constantly looking for new content (fighting harder monsters), writing tutorials for subjects that I may not have mastered (battling bosses), and exploring new avenues for exposure (uh…unlocking more story? This metaphor may be stretched a bit).  It’s a juggling act coming up with entertaining imagery and prose, and some times I’m more successful than others.  My efforts have been moderately rewarded, and I plan to continue my efforts.
If you are looking to improve your art blog, I suggest you too take a few cues from fashion bloggers.  There’s a wealth of tutorials, advice, and information that can be easily applied to what art bloggers do, especially if you show a little imagination.

You should first consider adopting a code of ethics that applies not only to the material you post, but how you deal with other bloggers, comments, and possible sponsorships.  I made a vow to post every comment that wasn’t spam or obvious trolling, even if it wasn’t flattering, because honesty is important to me, and I want to foster open communication on my blog.  The best way to get honest critique (which is something I always want) is to make it known that you are receptive and grateful, which is why all comments are posted; good or bad.  I’ve also decided not to accept any product that can’t be used to improve this blog or to improve the lives of my readers, and have turned down a few offers.  Monetizing this blog was a hard decision to make, as I find Google Ads to be fairly ugly, but it was a gesture of love to raise money to help a friend achieve one of her artistic goals, and my objective of encouraging a positive and helpful artistic community supercedes my dislike of ads cluttering up my pages.  I try to include the sort of material I would have found useful before attending SCAD, so I post about a variety of subjects, and often offer advice and motivation, as that’s what I needed as an 18 year old wannabe comic artist.  This blog is about my art, not about me, so I try to keep personal posts to a minimum.  I want this blog to reflect my professionalism and work ethic, so I keep my topics professional.  When you are planning your blog, plan it with this code of ethics in mind, and stand by it  A man is nothing if his word can’t be trusted.

(You could let your conscience be your guide, or you could read this http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp for some ideas)

Comments

  1. Gah, comment didn't send. T_T Have to retype it.

    This is a good post! It was kind of hard to read, maybe because of the lack of spacing between the paragraphs?

    Also I agree with you on the lack of good art/comic/advice blogs. However, I think this is where bloggers like you, hopefully me, and others will come in. Since there is a lacking of such blogs I think people like us will need to fill in that gap.

    Unfortunately it doesn't happen over night and takes awhile. I think you're doing a great job so far. Just keep doing what you're doing. :) I think you'll just have to keep generating content that people can use. The other part of the equation is time. You'll just have to wait until people find your articles who will then commit to be a reader. But don't dishearten, I'm sure things will pick up for you! :D

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  2. @Aisazia I'm so sorry about the lack of paragraph breaks, I went back and added them. Sometimes I'll type something in Notepad, paste it into Blogger, and THINK I've saved it as a draft (or scheduled it to post later, intending to edit it) and forget about it.

    I definitely see your blog contributing to the solution, I just wish you'd post more art! One of my favorite parts of artblogs are process posts, so even if everything's still in development, it'd still be very interesting to me.

    I'm not actually discouraged, it's just hard to know if I sound like an idiot of if I'm actually useful when I don't get a lot of feedback. One of my goals for 2012 is to encourage a better artistic community for aspiring comic artists, so I won't give up just yet!

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  3. @Nattosoup lol It's ok, you're normally really good at it. Just thought I'd mention it. XD

    Thanks! I'm glad you think so! Haha, yeah I'm guilty of that. I'll try to do that more for ya! I'm in the process of organizing my photos. I can't seem to remember which ones I've already posted or haven't...Do you have a way to identify which scans/photos you already used for your blog? XD

    OH yeah, I see what you mean. Yeah, people don't usually make a lot of time to send feedback but if you're getting a lot of new hits or traffic, I think you'd be doing ok. ;) Yay! We can all try to work on it together!

    OH just realized there was a reply to comment link. XD I wish there was a better way to be notified of replies instead of having to come back to check for replies. Is that even a possibility?

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  4. I think the main problem with artist blogs for now is that a good many viewers still congregate around sites like DeviantART. I think it's a bit harder to lure that crowd away, because they so love the ease of commenting, favoriting and posting their own artistic endeavors. That's something I've been thinking about when considering my own blog: I think people get a bit alienated by the lack of community support. Blogger makes interaction a lot more difficult than alternate sites (DA, Tumblr), and I worry that constantly working against that is more trouble than required.

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